Friday, October 31, 2008

Trick or Treat?

For every piece of sweet candy there is something sour. For every beautiful princess there is a scary witch. For every treat there is a nasty trick.
Treat #1
On top of receiving endorsements from The Roanoke Times and The News Leader, Sam Rasoul also raised over $100K through online donations. I'm proud that a few of those dollars, about .001% as it turns out, came from me. I'm also proud to have done some volunteering on his behalf. It is a remarkable achievement for a candidate in western Virginia. Sam's fundraising success is an especially sweet treat because he, unlike his opponent, refused contributions from PACs, lobbyists, and even from the party which nominated him. It is truly a grassroots campaign.
Trick #1
Bob Goodlatte is running an aggressive TV ad campaign. He would not be spending all that money, all across the district, if he didn't feel threatened. There has been little reliable public polling done in this race, but one has to believe Goodlatte's internal polling is telling him something. The ad I've seen most often makes it appear to be "plain folks" are supporting Bob - in reality the people are local GOP activists like Bill Shirley, the Augusta chair. Is that the guy who got it by default after the Michael/Roller bloodletting? Where's Kurt?
Treat #2
Students at Spotswood High School in Rockingham County went narrowly (112-107) for Barack Obama. Student mock elections don't always predict the percentages of how the general population will vote, but they can illustrate some general trends. In this case, it may well reflect that Obama is faring better in this area than the previous two Democratic presidential nominees. Kerry and Gore both got less than 25% in Rockingham.
Trick #2
True to form, the Daily News-Record's story on the Spotswood Mock Election tricked readers by mostly quoted students supporting McCain who questioned the motives (and intelligence) of their classmates.
Treat #3
Nationwide, Barack Obama defeated John McCain 60% to 35.5% in the Youth Leadership Mock Election that is organized by the Center for Politics at UVA. About 3 million students participated in in this nationwide election. In Virginia, it was very similar with Obama winning 59.72% and McCain 35.56%.
Trick #3
About 5% of the students' votes in the Youth Leadership Mock Election went to various minor party candidates and probably to Homer Simpson and Mickey Mouse. So one can wonder how seriously some students took this instructional activity. On November 4 these candidates will probably get 1% or less. But, I've recently spotted Ron Paul and Chuck Baldwin signs in a very Republican area - does this signal conservatives' unease with McCain/Palin?
Treat #4
Chris Saxman says he'd give up his seat in the House of Delegates to serve in a McCain administration.
Trick #4
John McCain would be president. Trick #4.1 Sarah Palin would be vice president.
Now that's some scary stuff for Halloween!

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